Craig Mackail-Smith will play an hour for Peterborough in their final pre-season friendly against Sunderland on Tuesday night.
The striker, who topped Posh's goalscoring chart last season with 23 league strikes, has struggled with a troublesome groin injury all summer and only managed to train on the pitch at Oxford on Saturday.
But with just days to go before the club's Championship opener against Derby, manager Darren Ferguson is prepared to include him against the Black Cats at London Road and is confident he will be ready for the weekend.
Ferguson told the club's official website: "If he comes through unscathed he will be in the squad at Derby. He may not be fully fit but adrenaline will get him through and I would have no problem picking him. It's a massive boost to have Craig back in the squad because we felt he may miss the start of the season, which would have been a blow."
Mackail-Smith himself added: "It is good news I will be playing against Sunderland and I just want to get some match fitness under my belt. It has been a really frustrating time and missing pre-season has been very disappointing but I can see light at the end of the tunnel now."
In further good news, Dean Keates will also feature for an hour against Sunderland having sat out of the last four friendlies with an Achilles problem.